Child custody refers to the practical and legal relationship between a parent and child. This relationship includes the care, maintenance, and control of the child. Biological parents who are married and on the child’s birth certificate are not required to obtain legal rights to make decisions for their child. Courts will determine custody if there is a disagreement between the parents regarding rights to make decisions, or if a parent is deemed unfit. Child custody issues often arise from divorces, annulments, and other legal actions involving children. It is important to seek counsel from child custody lawyers in Charlotte NC when dealing with child custody issues, since many custody questions can arise during the process.
Who Decides Child Custody?
Most child custody cases are decided based on state laws. In divorce cases, the court with jurisdiction over the proceedings will determine which parent or guardian will have custody of the child. Usually, parents involved in a divorce or annulment are required to file for custody, if the child or children are under the age of 18 years.
Who Gets Custody?
The court decides child custody based on what is in the best interests of the child or children. In separation cases, the court will decide which parent or guardian will be better able to provide for the child’s needs. Legal custody of the child or children will automatically be shared equally between married parents filing for custody or divorce. Sole legal custody to one parent will only be awarded if the court finds evidence that it is in the child’s best interests. As long as there is no evidence of misconduct on the part of either parent, their rights to child custody are considered equal.
Depending on the child’s needs, courts may also decide on a specific schedule of custody for both parents to follow. Younger children may need shorter and more frequent time spent with each parent. Older children may need longer time periods and to alternate less frequently between each parent.
Issues Affecting a Parent’s Child Custody Request
The court will consider the parent’s history, financial capability, mental state, and relationship with the child when considering custody. A parent may be deemed unfit if they have issues with drug or alcohol use, abuse or neglect, mental disorders, or have shown unwillingness or an inability to participate in the care of the child.
Child Custody Lawyers Charlotte NC
Among unmarried parents, the mother automatically gets custody of the child unless a family court decides differently. Both parents may be awarded shared physical or legal custody if the court determines that both parents can jointly be responsible and provide for the child’s best interests.
Child custody can be a complex issue. If you are involved in a divorce or other proceedings involving your child or children, it is best to contact a lawyer that specializes in child custody issues. The attorneys at Emblem Legal specialize in family law, including child custody cases. We will be there with you through every phase of the process providing you with real solutions. Contact us today to set up a consultation.